Today, 10th September 2021, India celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi.
Lord Ganesha is the lord of success, prosperity, wisdom knowledge, and good fortune. He is always worshipped very first at every Hindu religious and cultural occasion. That is the reason he is called Vighnaharta. We pray to him before any spiritual work as an offering to eradicate all the negative energies and shower us with fortune and success.
Lord Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He is called by several names such as Ekadanta, Lambodara, Gajanana, Vinayak, Ganpati, Vakratund, and many more.
On the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi; I want to share a list of famous Ganesha temples in India.
Location- Prabhadevi, Mumbai, Maharashtra
The Shri Siddhi Vinayak Ganpati Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shri Ganesh. It was originally built by Laxman Vithu and Debubai Patil on 19th November 1801. it is one of the richest Ganesha temples in India. The temple has a small mandap with the shrine of Siddhivinayak. The wooden doors of the sanctum are carved with images of Ashtavinayak. The inner roof of the sanctum is plated with gold. And the central statue is of Ganesha. Siddhivinayak is well known as ‘Navsacha Ganpati' or ‘Navasala Pavanara Ganpati'; he restores whenever humbly genuinely prays for a wish.
Location – Around Pune, Maharashtra
Ashtavinayak literally means 8 Ganesha. In Sanskrit Ganesh is the Hindu deity of unity, prosperity, good fortune. It signifies a pilgrimage of eight Hindu temples in Maharashtra. One has to complete this Yatra (journey) in a pre-ascertained sequence. The Ashtavinayak Yatra or pilgrimage covers eight ancient holy temples of Ganesha. All are situated around Pune in small villages connecting each other. Each of these temples has its own individual legend and history as distinct from each other. The form of each image of Ganesh and His trunk are distinct from one another. It is said that the place from where you have started the Yatra, you have to finish it there only. This completes the journey.
The names of Ashtavinayak temples are Mayureshwar Mandir, Siddhivinayak Temple, Ballaleshwar Temple, VaradVinayak Temple, Chintamani Temple, Girijatmaj Temple, Vighnahar Temple, and Maha Ganapati Temple.
Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple
Location – Mehunpura, Budhwarpeth, Pune, Maharashtra
It is the most famous among the Ganesha temples in India. Devotees of the temple mostly visit during the annual 10-day Ganeshostava festival. The main Ganesh idol is insured with a sum of INR 10 Million. The temple is about 129 years old. The construction is amazing and has a rich history. Jay and Vijay, the two sentinels made of marble catch the eye of all the outset. The Ganesh idol is 2.2 m tall and 1 meter wide. It is adorned with nearly 40 kilos of gold. The devotees of Lord Ganesh offer him gold and money. Heaps of coconut are offered to the deity as well. The lighting of the temple during the Ganesha festival is marvelous.
Kanipakkam Vinayak Temple
Location- Kanipakam in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Temple is about 11 km from Chittoor and 68 km from Tirupati.
Vinayaka is the presiding deity of the temple. The deity is seen in the well full of water always. There is an auspicious story related to this temple. About 1000 years ago there lived 3 physically challenged brothers. One of the brothers was blind. The other was dumb and the third was deaf. They earned their living by cultivating a small piece of land close to Puri village. On a certain day when one of the brothers was irrigating the land, the other two were drawing water from a well. To their utter dismay, they discovered that the water of the well had dried up.
One of the brothers got down the well and begin digging its bed with an iron spade. He was awe-struck to see the spade floundering in the water. It hit a stone-like object underneath. Blood was oozing out from the stone formation. The blood got mixed up with the water in the well; there was no difference between the two. Meanwhile, the brothers got blessed by the divine sight and got rid of their former physical defects. The news of these events reached the ears of the villagers. They rushed towards the well and tried hard to deepen the well. Their endeavor, however, bore no fruit. A self-manifested idol of Lord Ganesha showed itself to them, finally.
Ranthambore Ganesh Temple
Location- Ranthambore, Rajasthan near Madhopur
Also known as the Trinetra Ganesha temple. It is one of the oldest and famous Ganesha temples in India. The temple is about 12 km from Sawai Madhopur; placed within the Ranthambore fort. According to history, in 1299 AD a war took place between King Hammer and Alauddin Khilji at Ranthambore fortification. During the war, they filled their warehouses with food and other necessary things. As the war lasted for many years, the stored things started to finish. King Hammer was a great devotee of Lord Ganesha. One night when he was sleeping Lord Ganesha appeared in his dream. He said that all problems would be over by the next day morning. He stamped an idol of Ganesh with three eyes on one of the walls of the fort. The next day, a miracle took place. The war got over and the warehouses were filled again.
Doda Ganpati Temple
Location- Sirsi, Karnataka
It is one of the largest Ganesha temples in India. The temple has an enormous divine statue of Ganpati. It measures 18 feet by 16 feet. Every four years during the Ganesh festival, 100 kg of butter being coated over the deity. The tradition is known as Benne Alankara. It is believed that by looking at the Vignaharta temple, all obstacles are removed.
Karpaka Vinayakar Temple
Location – The temple is located on the eastern edge of Rocky hill in Pillayarpatti village. It is about 75 km North-East of Madurai City and 12 km east of Thirupathur.
The temple is a 7th century CE rock-cut cave shrine. It significantly expanded over the later centuries. The temple is dedicated to Vinayaka Ganesha. Inside the cave temple, there are rock-cut images of Ganesha Shivalinga. There are other sculptures as well, identified as Ardhanarishwara or Harihara. The temple has several inscriptions. It is one of the nine ancestral Hindu temples of the Nagarathars.
Chintaman Ganesh Temple
Location- Railway Station Road, Jawasiya, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
Chintaman Ganesh is the biggest among the Ganesha temples in India. The temple is built across the Shipra river. It is located about 7 km southwest of Ujjain town. The temple dates back to the 11th and 12th centuries when the Paramras ruled over Malwa. The Ganesh idol enshrined in this temple is supposed to be Swayambhu self-manifested. Locally Ganesha is also referred to as Chintamani; means he would remove all your worries. The finely carved stone pillar in the assembly hall and the white shrine define the age-old sanctity of the temple.
Location- Ganpatipule, a small town located 25 km north of Ratnagiri city in the Ratnagiri district of Konkan, Maharashtra.
The 400-year old Ganpati idol at Ganpatipule is said to have sprung up from the soil. This deity faces the west so as to guard the Western gates; unlike other deities in an Indian temple, who face East. The temple is at the base of a hill. The pilgrims walk around the hill as a mark of respect. Ganpatipule is approximately 375 km south of Mumbai along the Konkan coast. It is a small town with about a hundred houses. its beach is a tourist destination. The temple is frequented by thousands of tourists every year.
Khajrana Ganesh Temple
Location- Indore district of Madhya Pradesh
Khajrana Ganesh Temple is situated in the cleanest city of India, Indore. The temple is a popular landmark in Indore. It was built way back in 1735 by Rani Ahilyaabai Holkar. The temple has since grown from being housed to a larger temple. The devotees circle around the temple and tie a thread to pray to Lord Ganesha; for the successful completion of their work. It is said that the ancient idol in the temple appeared in a dream of local priest Mangal Bhatt. Later Ahilyaabai Holkar excavated the said idol from under the ground and installed it in the temple. From where the idol was removed, there is a well that is right in front of the temple. Along with Lord Ganesha, the temple has many more small temples of other gods.
There are many more Ganesha temples in India. All are specially adorned and worshipped during Ganesh Chaturthi.
Apoorva is a Data Analyst by profession, Data Enthusiast, and likes to work and analyze data. She is a published poet, writer, painter, art, and music lover. It's her belief that life is a series of tiny miracles and we just need to notice them, we just need to enjoy the ‘life' ride patiently. She likes to chant Vedas and loves reading books in several genres.